Image by Getty Images via DaylifeFor the last week and more, British Gas has kindly let me survive at home without central heating. It was fun at first to combat the freezing weather in one warmish room and then, just like in the old days, go upstairs, dress for bed (with hat). It is difficult being the warmest thing in a room. Luckily I was saved by Gavin, a charmer from British Gas, who replace the heat exchanger. The old one, really only a few months old, had been clogged up when they flushed out the pipes unwittingly using he heat exchange as the filter! It made me wonder about the carbon savings of installing very energy efficient systems but which are not robust and need to be replaced after the slightest glitch. This fancy boiler will not last twenty years and will be carbon poor.
With a warm home I can now enjoy my 20mb broadband connection with Virgin Media and look forward to the soon to be announced upgrade to 50mb. Broadband is as essential to my life as central heating. No doubt people in the sixties would have asked if they needed to spend the money and were happy keeping one room hot with a coal fire.
Currently, broadband is seen as a luxury and broadband market growth has slowed to 0.5% now from 37% in the last five years leading to a society split between the haves and the have nots.
The Cambridge Cluster needs to develop a “must have” reason for broadband so that people see it as an essential and the prices must keep coming down. So what will be the “TV” moment when everyone realises that they could not live without broadband and the pipes run hot? If not, we are going to have many youngsters who are not part of “The Cloud” generation and who will find it difficult to get jobs.
We have the business plan resource and now we need the idea!